4 ‘Innovative’ Ways To Use The Carnival Of The Animals To Introduce Teens To Music Appreciation

by | High School Music Activities, Homeschool Music, Music Appreciation, Musical Activities For Kids

See below for a Free Printable Pack to go with the post.

One of the biggest mistakes I have seen homeschool moms make, is to think that Camille Saint Saens’ piece, the Carnival of the Animals is only for young kids. 

Nothing can be further from the truth. 

With the right combination of activities to engage teens, this composition can be a wonderful gateway into getting them to seriously learn and appreciate music. 

So in this post, I’m going to discuss four really innovative ways in which you can introduce your teens to music appreciation through this all time favourite of Camille Saint Saens. 


Composer And Style

Camille Saint Saens is a famous and versatile composer. 

So the first activity should be to carry out a research project aimed at learning about his early childhood, musical education, compositions, contemporaries, musical influence, the era in music that he lived in and so on. 

Next, ask your teen to choose one of Saint Saens’ contemporaries and compare the different styles in music. 

You can download the worksheet I have made available, which includes all the prompts needed and guidance for this research project. 


Compare Movements

Another great activity is to ask your teen to listen to all the movements and select two (favourite and least favourite, first and last, elephant and monkeys etc) movements and compare them with each other. 

The comparison can be based on the instruments used, the dynamics (volume, pace, pitch) and much more. 

The prompts in the worksheets I have made available will help your teen with this activity. 


Critical Analysis Of Movement

Select a movement to critically analyze it in depth. 

For this your teen has to discuss what he likes and dislikes about the movement, what instruments and dynamics were used, what worked in the movement and if he was the composer what he would have done differently and why?


Compare Other Compositions

With this activity, your teen should select another composition by Saint Saens’ to compare it with the Carnival of the Animals. 

Then he can compare the two in terms of the mood of the compositions, the instruments used, the style, dynamics, harmonization and much more. 


Do you have any more activity ideas for your teens?

Please comment below. 

Karen Cadera

Karen Cadera


Mom, Teacher, Minimalist, Zero Waste Enthusiast, Multi Pod.

My daughter loved the games, but there were also worksheets and videos. The weekly lesson plans were complete, and I never questioned what I should be doing next.

Lisa Tanner

Homeschool Mom

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